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So I'm working on my albatross... My own set of game rules for a fast and easy role playing game. The base rules are called "The Pulp RPG System", since pulp games need to be quick and easy. I'm incorporating different rules from different games and giving them my own spin.

Basically, stats are positive and negative modifiers, not fixed numbers. So you have a +4 Body, not a 16 STR.

Skills, however, are rated in dice: A skill might be rated at d4 + d12, and difficulties are similarly rated. Basically all tasks are opposed tasks. So a task might have a d4 + d10 rating, and you roll your skill dice, plus the bonus from the governing stat, to see if you succeed. I'm really glossing over this right now, since I'm still working on it, and don't even have an Alpha version ready yet.

Characters choose backgrounds and career paths to build their character, plus they get to spend some extra points to personalize their characters.

Combat I haven't defined yet, but it will be based on the same mechanism as skill resolution. Damage is rated in terms of "Punishment" as in, how much punishment you can take before collapsing. Not necessarily collapsing dead, but passing out.

None of these are truly reinventing the wheel, more like refining and kit bashing existing wheels.

My true homemade wheel, was my own take on the d20 Modern concept of Wealth levels. I was going to do it right! I was going to do away with Cash and needless accounting! I was going to make Wealth Levels Work!




Oy and Vey...

Sometimes, when you're working on something, you find yourself bogged down in meaningless details. I crunched concepts, found a way to include debt as a concept for wealth levels, and needlessly complicated something that is already done quite well, i.e. Cash.

Mind you, the idea behind Wealth Levels is a sound one. Modern day people have accounts, incomes, dividends, and can pull instant lines of credit through credit cards, that a pocket full of gold coins cannot easily simulate. But I want to make the Pulp RPG System easy to play, and keep the maths down to just adding dice rolls.

I can go with a simple system: Income comes at the following levels: Poor, Low, Middle, High, Wealthly, Rich, Stinking Rich. I'd then rate goods and services with the same ratings. If you're higher than the rating, no problem, you can buy it. But, that can make it complex again. How does a person with a Low or Poor income afford anything expensive? How do you handle cash rewards or treasure?

To be honest, nothing is better than cash for handling that. I'll deal with that when I next work on this. But for now, I'm going to save my new wheel here and in another doc, because it is a good idea, I'll just have to adapt it for d20 Modern. :-)

Read and cringe!



Wealth


In the Pulp RPG, you don't have to juggle sums or keep track of your pesos, pounds, rubles, and dollars, you just have to keep track of your wealth level. Your personal wealth and spending power is abstracted out to a wealth level.

To purchase something, you simply make a roll versus the cost level of the item you want to purchase. If you match or beat the cost roll, you've bought the item. Next compare the Wealth level dice you've rolled with the cost level dice, from lowest to highest. For every cost die that is higher than its corresponding wealth die, a -1 modifier is applied to your Wealth level. For every unmatched cost die, you another -1 modifier is applied to your Wealth level. Additionally, if the Cost level is twice your Wealth level, if you make your roll to purchase the item, you gain a -1 wealth level modifier to your Wealth level.

For example, George, with Wealth at Level 6, and a maximum value of 16, tries to buy a top end computer with a Level 12 cost. The average value for the cost level is 20. George rolls a 12 for his Wealth level, and the GM rolls an 11 for the cost level. He rolls a 1 + 11 for his dice. The cost dice roll a 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3. George gains a -4 to his Wealth based on the dice, and an additional -1 for because the cost level was twice his level. He now has a -5 to his wealth.

If the maximum value for the cost roll is equal to your wealth level's average value, you don't need to roll.

For example: A sandwich at the local deli has a cost of Level 0, which has a maximum value of 4 for the level roll. George has Wealth at Level 6, which has an average value of 8. So he has no problem purchasing lunch.

You can gain wealth either through a bonus die that is awarded to your character, or through a positive modifier to your Wealth level. Every +2 modifier can raise your Wealth level by one. However, you cannot raise your Wealth level if you have an existing negative modifier to your Wealth level.

The negative modifier represents debt: maxing out your credit card, taking out a loan, or other means of getting the necessary cash to make the purchase. When this negative modifier equals the average value of your Wealth level, you cannot purchase anything higher than half your current Wealth level, and you must roll for every purchase and cannot take the average value. You can still take on debt, if the cost dice exceed your wealth dice. (The negative modifier does NOT apply to your dice for this comparison.)

At any time, you can buy off by either spending an equal number of positive modifiers, or you can try to roll versus your debt to reduce it. To do this, compare the negative modifier to the closest average value for a level. Any left over negative modifiers are kept. For example, if you have a -13 debt, it becomes a d4+ d6 + d12 +2. For every die that you roll equal to or higher, the debt drops by one. If your total is greater than the debt roll, it goes down by another one. However, you still apply the negative modifier to your Wealth level when you try to reduce it.

For example: George has a -5 debt, so he decides to pay it off. His debt becomes a Level 3, a d4 + d6. He makes a Wealth roll of 8 (3 + 10 - 5) and a debt roll of 7 (4+3). His debt drops to -3, (+1 for beating his debt roll, and +1 for beating one die.)

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